“A website is not a marketing plan.”

Without an effective marketing plan, you’ll be unable to communicate your unique selling point to your intended target audience (Jantsch and Singleton, 2016. ). Your website is the cornerstone of your strategy, provides the content and provides your product. Your marketing strategy should properly convey to your target audience what it is you do and what you can offer for them.

In order to set up your market strategy, you should ask yourself these key questions:

[answers based off the sapling forums]

  • Who, exactly, is your ideal target audience?

My targeted country/region is primarily united kingdom & north/south america (region 1 & 2 in terms of media distribution).

Nintendo’s ideology for animal crossing as a series is primarily directed towards an urban demographic (large populated areas where people can connect with each-other easily e.g. streetpass) so it makes sense that this is also my demographic.

Most animal crossing players i’ve come across tend to be varied from 10-30, this is my target age group. Gender and education is unimportant as animal crossing as a series is loved by a wide class of male/female users.

  • What type of content does your target audience like to consume?

Animal crossing players seek to forums for these primary reasons: to play with others online, to trade items in game & to discuss the series. The areas of use on the forum I have designed, are to cater to these interests including categories for discussion, areas for trading items, sections for offering your friend code and playing online with others and guides/tips to aid the experience.

We’ve also produced our own animal crossing database to provide info/content about the items that can be found in game, a sort of wikipedia.

  • What are the goals that you hope to accomplish with your website and marketing?

To provide a family friendly community that people can make friends with other animal crossing players and get the help they need with their game.

The social mediums I use to provide news and insight into forum activity should be those used by my target audience which i’ve narrowed down to: discord, facebook and tumblr.

  • Which search terms does your target audience use when they need your product or service?

These are usually the obvious terms such as animal crossing, nintendo and precise item names from the game. Most of the search terms are shortened to the particular series names: ‘acnl’ = animal crossing new leaf.

In order to create a great marketing strategy, having goals and setting out the specific needs of your website can help aid the conversion process:

  • Why do you do what you do?

I created forums as hobbies because I loved meeting new people and creating helpful communities. Animal Crossing is a series which i’ve grown up with and is dear to me so naturally I make an animal crossing forum.

  • Who you do it for?

I created a forum for all the people who wish there were a centralised space where people can share their love of animal crossing. It is a hobby but in my life I always like to be pursuing at least one productive project as it gives me goals and satisfaction that i’m making a difference.

  • What do you do that makes your company remarkable and unique?

This is a difficult question and one that I need to work on but we do have an animal crossing database which includes every single item from the game: animal crossing new leaf. The data was provided by an already made website database, however our design is much better and easier for people to use.

I find alot of forums are strict on their rules, so our forum is unique in the sense you can discuss and relax without feeling constricted too much about what you say (as long as it’s family friendly).

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